Preparing for Worship - May 21, 2017

By Pastor Matt Sikes


As we prepare to gather for worship this weekend, I would like to give you these helpful words from Christian Philosopher and Theologian James K. A. Smith: “The church’s worship is the heart of discipleship. Yes, Christian formation is a life-encompassing, Monday through Saturday, week in and week out project; but it radiates from, and is nourished by, the worship life of the congregation.”


In this quote the author is talking about the Spiritual formation that happens as we gather every week to worship God as his body. He is reminding us that when we worship God corporately we are being transformed by the preaching of the Word, the singing, praying, giving, Scripture reading, and observance of the ordinances. This act of worshipping God together serves as a sort of fuel and energizer for everything else that we do in our lives.


The opposite is also true. As we are fueled to present our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) throughout the week, this is also helping to serve as fuel for our corporate worship when we meet back together on Sunday.


It’s a cycle, really. Stated another way, as we behold Christ in the assembly of the church, it helps us to behold him in every arena of our lives. As we behold Christ in every arena of our lives, it helps us to behold him as we gather together to worship him.


Do you view corporate worship and meeting together with the church with this sort of magnitude? Will you ask God to work in your life to make you more aware of what is happening in the supernatural act of worshiping him as his body?


For this Sunday:


The Call to Worship this Sunday will come from Psalm 22:22-26. This is the Psalm that Jesus cried out while he was dying on the cross. Worship Pastor and Theologian Mike Cosper says this about Psalm 22:


It’s a perfect song for the Savior to sing in that moment. For twenty verses of this messianic poem, the psalmist cries out in anguish and he’s surrounded, tortured, and pierced through his hands and feet. It’s a chilling prophecy of the execution of Jesus. And then, in verse 21, the story changes. God intervenes and rescues the suffering one. “You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!”


“I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you. (v.22)”


For the next ten verses, he sings a redemption song, inviting the whole world to join him and celebrate the God who saves. The suffering servant becomes a worship leader, inviting the world to come and worship the God who has rescued him.  


Our call to worship on Sunday will come from the verses of this redemption song.


The songs we will sing on Sunday are below with links to recordings for you to listen:


Christ is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed

Shine Into Our Night

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

Lamb of God

All I Have Is Christ


This Sunday we will also be recognizing all of our graduates. The ladies of the Friends choir will be singing a traditional African American Spiritual – “Nothin’ Gonna Stumble My Feet.”


Pastor Mark will be preaching from the Gospel of Mark. The title of the sermon will be “Humility, Servanthood, and True Greatness” and the text will be Mark 10:32-52. Please pray for him, that God would use him to proclaim his Word with boldness and clarity. Please pray for everyone as we again “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”


See you Sunday!